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How much are we losing in not depositing anuran sound recordings in scientific collections?

Simone Dena, Raoni Rebouças, Guilherme Augusto-Alves, Camila Zornosa-Torres, Mariana Retuci Pontes & Luís Felipe Toledo (In press). How much are we losing in not depositing anuran sound recordings in scientific collections?. Bioacoustics, Volume 29 (5):

 

Abstract: 

Anuran sound archives allow monitoring populations, studying animal communication, evolution, taxonomy, and natural history, besides evaluating historical events through the preservation of sound recordings. However, some of these materials are being lost because they are not deposited in archives. Thus, we investigated the percentage of herpetologists that do not deposit their recordings, their reason not to do so, and the number of recordings and financial funding lost. We observed that nearly 80% of herpetologists do not catalogue the sounds they collect, resulting in the loss of over six million dollars, only in Brazil, over the past decades. The main reasons for not cataloguing such records were lack of time, lack of expertise in cataloguing procedures, and the belief that it is not necessary. Over the past 18 years, the number of studies in which recordings were deposited increased; however, they never accounted for more than 50% of the total amount of studies. Leaving audiovisual files out of sound archives hinders public access, impairs scientific progress and increases the loss of information probability. Besides, as most of the bioacoustics studies are funded by taxpayer money (in Brazil), depositing recordings is also essential considering the proper allocation of public resources.

Keywords: 

Herpetology, scientific collections, Brazil, financial costs of recordings, sound recordings